The Coastal Challenge club cricket competition takes a break this weekend while key players are on representative duty in the opening round of the 2020/21 Furlong Cup campaign.
The winner of the Furlong Cup earns the right to a Zone 2 Hawke Cup challenge against holders Hawkes Bay.
Club sides will play a round of 20/20 games this weekend with no points allotted to the Coastal Challenge standings.
Wanganui Vet Services Marist and Whanganui Collegiate School was the only Coastal Challenge game to reach a decision last weekend with all other match-ups abandoned, beaten by the weather. The Marist/Collegiate clash was played on the all-weather pitch at Springvale Park with no access to the CricHQ computerised scoring system.
WCS set a target of 276/9 after 50 overs and Marist chased that down reaching 277/3 after 47.5 overs. Marist will receive points for winning the match, while the other teams will receive equal points for the abandonment.
And it is fortunate club cricket has taken a break this weekend because some would have been at a distinct disadvantage.
Wanganui Marist, for instance, would have been light five of their key players.
Five regular Marist players are on representative duty for Riverview Motel Wanganui in the season opener against Manawatu on the Tasman Tanning No 1 ground at Victoria Park.
Ross Kinnerley, a key Marist player, is the new player/coach for the Wanganui rep side, while veteran Mark Fraser has scored successive centuries for his club in the Coastal Challenge. Kinnerley's brother Fraser, Chris Stewart and Connor O'Leary are also on rep duty this weekend.
Marist inflicted a heavy loss to the previously unbeaten Whanganui Collegiate School First X1 in the Coastal Challenge last week despite an excellent captain's knock on 173 not out from Shaun O'Leary.
O'Leary has been named in the Wanganui rep squad although will not play against Manawatu this weekend.
He has been identified as an early talent.
The WCS Year 12 student, fresh off his second season in the first XV and had an outstanding season at second five-eighth swapped his rugby boots for his bowling boots and has set about having a great start to the season for the Black and Blue striped WCS first XI.
Selected as captain at the start of the month, taking over the leadership from another notable rugby player Harry Godfrey, O'Leary has had a stellar start to the season as bowler, batter and as leader.
In the first inter-school match of the season, O'Leary led from the front and scored his maiden 100 for WCS (119) in a victory over Francis Douglas Memorial College from New Plymouth.
In the following fixture he continued his excellent form into the Coastal Challenge.
O'Leary has accumulated 876 runs for the year at an average of 38 with his two centuries and 34 wickets at an average of 24 - outstanding cricket for one so young.
At the recent WCS awards function O'Leary was awarded the first XI bowling cup but his last few batting innings will confirm his status as a wonderful all-rounder.
Meanwhile, Property Brokers Wanganui United also have players on rep duty this weekend with Max Carroll, Chris Sharrock and John Beale named in the Wanganui side.
Beale impressed last season with his nippy medium pacers, athleticism in the field and handy contributions with the bat.